|Steve resting on the summit|
|View from 6800 ft|
|Judy, very ready for a rest|
|“Where are my skis?”|
When we reached the summit Judy said with her big beautiful blue eyes smile, “we are amazing.” It was the same magnetic smile that I fell in love with 30 years ago on our first hike together to Beverly Lake in the Cascades near Steven’s Pass in Washington State. “Her eyes would stop 10,000 soldiers.”
But this hike, following 100’s of trails (and trials) during our life together was different. This day, June 24, 2012 was our way of celebrating freedom, love for life, and for each other. Scaling the summit of Big Mountain was not planned far in advance. Judy made the suggestion first thing this morning. We knew how to prepare for a good hike up the mountain, but tried not to think about the challenge ahead. We selected the trail head at the bottom that would take us on a path around the mountain and up to the summit. We were warned about snow fields after about 2 miles. It was at this point, I started thinking, “are we stupid or, what?” Judy is turning 62 in August, and my 66th birthday is next week, and we can’t see the trail! This was not a science project to be sure. Lots of folks were hiking up and down, but not all the way up. We discovered most turned around once reaching the snow field. One middle aged dude was coming down and said, “this is too much for my knees.” It was at this critical point that my motivation picked up, since testing my new “teenage” knees was an opportunity not to turn away from. Why would we even think about turning around and going back down??!!
We found foot prints in the snow and navigated our way through the trees and onto the larger snow field. After 3 hours of strenuous hiking up the steep trail and over the snow fields, we made it to the top. It is hard to describe the feeling of just doing it. The best part is being able to hike up Big Mountain on this day with my best friend and soul mate, Judy. This is just a warm up for many more hikes and new adventures to come.
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story